Saudi Arabia said it will build what’s claimed as the world’s biggest battery facility to store wind and solar to power a vast luxury tourist complex on the Red Sea that will boast 50 hotels and its own airport.
The Red Sea Development Company plans to deploy 1GWh-worth of battery storage to make the The Red Sea Project the biggest holiday destination on the planet to be fully powered by renewables 24 hours a day.
Saudi utility ACWA power – which won a deal to provide all utility services to the complex – will also build an initial 210MW of wind and solar to power the first phase of The Red Sea Project from 2022, when 12 hotels and the airport are due to be up and running.
Once finished in 2030 The Red Sea Project’s 28,000 sq km site will feature 50 hotels and 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites, said its developer, which is backed by the Saudi government and promises “unforgettable luxury” for its visitors.
Other attractions on offer include include “mountain canyons, dormant volcanoes, and ancient cultural and heritage sites”. The total cost of the Red Sea Project has been reported as up to $10bn.
Red Sea Development Company CEO John Pagano said: “With the largest battery storage facility in the world in place, we can guarantee that the development is 100% powered by renewable energy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, an accomplishment which has never been achieved on a project of this scale before.”
The cost of the massive tourism project has not been The Red Sea Project joins plans for the world’s largest green hydrogen plant – which also involves ACWA Power – in Saudi Arabia’s increasingly ambitious clean energy agenda.
Contenders for 'biggest battery'
The race to claim ‘world’s largest storage project’ is becoming a crowded field.
The 150MW/194MWh Tesla ‘big battery’ at the Hornsdale wind farm in Australia, the long-time leader, is now being dwarfed by projects around the world.
Like ACWA, the 250MW/250MWh Gateway Energy Storage project in California – which came online as the world’s largest earlier in 2020 – plans to expand to 1GWh.
Both are put in the shade by the ambitions of Sun Cable’s Australia-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL), A$22bn ($16bn) 10GW/30GWh solar/battery project that aims to reach its mammoth capacity by 2027.